U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to join leaders from across Africa in Abuja this week for the presidential inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, was expected to take the oath of office Friday after vowing on the campaign trail to wipe out the Boko Harem insurgency and national political corruption.
More than 50 world leaders were expected to attend the inauguration. South Africa President Jacob Zuma said he would depart for Nigeria Thursday to attend the ceremonies. ”In his congratulatory message, President Zuma expressed his commitment to working closely with president-elect Buhari to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Nigeria, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation,” the presidency said in a statement.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will also travel to Nigeria for the Abuja ceremonies. He has complained about corruption in Nigeria in the past. "We used to go to Nigeria and every time we went there we had to carry extra cash to corruptly pay for everything," he has said. "You get into a plane in Nigeria and the crew keeps dilly dallying without taking off as they wait for you to pay them to take off."
Buhari, 72, received 15.42 million votes against outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan during the general elections held in March. Jonathan received 12.85 million votes.
Buhari first seized power of Nigeria in a military coup from 1983 to 1985. He is the leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) coalition. Jonathan, 57, of the People’s Democratic Party, was elected president in 2010 and served two terms.
Ahead of the inauguration, local government officials in Abuja cancelled restrictions on human and vehicular movement. State Commissioner for the Environment Tunji Bello said the cancellation would ensure free movement during the inauguration ceremonies, reported News24 in Nigeria.